College of Liberal Studies

Department Chair: Eric Kraemer

245E Graff Main Hall, 608-785-8424




Professors: Kraemer, Maly, Miller, D.; Assistant Professors: Glass, Scherwitz.



Philosophy Major

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 30 credits, including

PHL 100, 101 or 303, 205, 206, 496, and electives in philosophy. Majors must take four philosophy courses at the 300/400 level including PHL 496. No more than three credits of PHL 300/494/495 shall count towards the major.



Philosophy Minor

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 18 credits, including PHL 100, 205, 206 and electives in philosophy.



Philosophy Department Honors Program Requirements

I.              Admission

A.            Junior standing

B.            12 credits in the major

C.            3.25 cumulative grade point average in the major

D.            Recommendation of two faculty members in the major

II.            Program

A.            Completion of the regular major program

B.            PHL 496

C.            Thesis*

III.           Evaluation

A.            Cumulative grade point average of 3.60 in the major at graduation*

B.            Cumulative grade point average of 3.50 in all university courses*

C.            Presentation of the thesis to a colloquium of faculty and students in the major

D.            Final examination*







+ above a course number indicates a General Education course.



PHL        100                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Introduction to Philosophy

An introduction to the major views on important philosophic topics such as knowledge, religion, morality, art, reality, feminism, and social diversity.



PHL        101                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Introduction to Logic

An introduction to logic, the science of valid reasoning. This course introduces the student to both formal and informal methods of reasoning and evaluating arguments.


PHL        201                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Introduction to Ethics

A study of important ethical views in the history of western philosophy. A search for justifiable standards of conduct through a critical examination of different ethical points of view. There will be additional introductory emphasis on selected issues in applied ethics from a multicultural point of view. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered Sem. I.


PHL        205                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

History of Philosophy I

Introduction to principle questions of philosophy and history of their analysis from the pre-Socratic period to the Renaissance. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered Sem. I.


PHL        206                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

History of Philosophy II

Principle questions of philosophy and history of their analysis from the Renaissance to the present. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered Sem. II.


PHL        220                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Introduction to Comparative Religion

Comparative study of religious expressions and the human situation in the major religions of the world. Exploration of the historic, social, and economic influences on religious world-views. The role of each religion in shaping cultural values. Prerequisite: PHL 100.



PHL        230                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Multicultural Philosophy

This survey course will examine philosophical ideas and systems that are generated from a wide range of cultural traditions. It will first explore a variety of multicultural philosophical traditions within the United States and then within the global context. The aim of this search will be to broaden and deepen our understanding and appreciation of the multiplicity of philosophical perspectives which are part of an increasingly diverse, interconnected, and globalized world. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered Sem. I.


PHL        300                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Topics in Philosophy

Study of a philosophical topic of special interest. Topics will vary according to the interests of students and the instructor. For the current content, consult the instructor or the department chair. Prerequisites: six credits in philosophy or permission of the department chair. No more than six credits in PHL 300, 494 and 495 combined are applicable to a major or minor. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.


PHL/PSY   301                                                                                                                                Cr. 3

Theory of Knowledge

An intensive examination of three major questions: (1) What are the principal grounds of knowledge? (2) How certain can we properly be of what we think we know? (3) Are there limits beyond which we cannot reasonably hope to extend knowledge? Strong emphasis is placed on the problem of perception, learning, and knowledge representation. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or PSY 100.  (Cross-listed with PSY 301; may only earn credit in PHL or PSY, not both.) Offered every other year.


PHL        302                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Symbolic Logic

This course offers the student a systematic presentation of symbolic logic. Proof techniques as well as consistency and completeness of the propositional calculus and predicate calculus are discussed. The student is also introduced to logical systems involving obligation and necessity as well as to systems of three-valued logic. Prerequisite: PHL 101 or MTH 151. Offered occasionally.


PHL        303                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Ethical Theory

A study of traditional and contemporary philosophical statements by which ethical problems may be approached. An examination of the search for general standards of value and of conduct as well as a critical examination of the answers put forth by the main types of ethical theories. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered every fourth semester.


PHL        307                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

19th and 20th Century Philosophy

A study of the major philosophical movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning with a response to the Enlightenment, this course will first explore 19th century philosophy, including post-Hegelian, 19th century British, and American philosophy, pragmatism, and transcendentalism. Second, it will discuss 20th century analytic philosophy, including logical positivism, epistemology, linguistic analysis, and philosophy of mind. Finally the course will study 20th century continental philosophy, including existentialism, phenomenology, feminist thought, and postmodernism/ poststructuralism. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered occasionally.


PHL        310                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3


An inquiry into the fundamental features of reality. Problems discussed include: the nature of reality, change and permanence, universals and particulars, unity and diversity, and identity. Prerequisite: PHL 100.


PHL        311                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Philosophy of Language

A survey of issues concerning the meaning of words. Their referential, snytactic and pragmatic features are explored. Description and causal theories of reference of names, description, indexicals, reflexives and kind terms and their relation to various theories of truth, necessity, and possibility are considered. The nature and roles of linguistic rules of use, competence and their relation to word, speaker and hearer meaning are explored in view of speech act theory. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered every fourth semester.


PHL        320                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

American Philosophy

A sketch of American thought in the colonial and revolutionary periods, followed by a study of developing American philosophy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Includes Jonathan Edwards, Jefferson, Paine, Emerson, Royce, Santayana, Pierce, James, Dewey, Whitehead. Prerequisite: PHL 100.


PHL        321                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

American Indian Thought

Reflections of the Native American ways of thinking as manifest in the literature of various select tribes, on the essential characteristics of thinking commonly shared by Native Americans, and on the fundamental differences of the Native American ways of thinking and those of the dominant (white) culture. The “primal world” of Native American thought will be studied as an alternative to the western way of thinking. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered occasionally.


PHL        323                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Phenomenology, Existentialism and Postmodernism

A study of the three major components of Continental philosophy: existentialism, phenomenology, and postmodernism. Existentialism: rejecting the rationalistic conception of objective knowledge, a philosophy of the lived experience of concrete individuals. Phenomenology: thinking and learning to describe the world as it appears rather than in terms of the preconceptions of a “totally rational” and “absolutely certain” system. Postmodernism, including poststructuralism and deconstruction: tending to the fragmentation of text and of subject, recognizing the impossibility of any definitive conception of reality, releasing hidden layers (traces) of texts unto polymorphic indeterminacies. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered every fourth semester.


PHL        324                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Feminism and Philosophy

The study of the theoretical foundations of various feminist and anti-feminist theories. We consider feminist and anti-feminist positions in relation to issues of human relationships, justice, equality, human nature, freedom, and theory construction. We will analyze various contemporary ethical, social, and political issues in regard to these feminist perspectives. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered Sem. I.


PHL        326                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Philosophical Concepts in Literature

Examination of Philosophical Concepts in Literature and how literature serves as a means through which these concepts are expressed. Some principal concepts examined include: the nature of self, society, and God. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered occasionally.


PHL        331                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Philosophy of Religion

An examination of religion and religious experience. Questions discussed include: What is religion? What are the grounds for belief in God? What are the foundations for belief in the soul? What is the nature of faith? What is the relation of religion to science? Prerequisite: PHL 100.


PHL        332                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Philosophy of the Arts

An examination of aesthetic experience and the questions that are relevant to works of art. Questions discussed include: What is art? What is artistic creation? What is artistic expression? What is artistic form? What is artistic criticism? Prerequisite: PHL 100.


PHL/PSY    333                                                                                                                               Cr. 3

Philosophy of Mind

A study of the problems regarding the nature of mental events, mind-body relations, behaviorism, mentalism, and the relation of these topics to scientific methodology. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or PSY 100. (Cross-listed with PSY 333; may only earn credit in PHL or PSY, not both.) Offered every other year.


PHL        334                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Philosophy of Science

A study of the nature of scientific laws, theories, concepts, and explanations, and a study of related problems in the natural and social sciences. Prerequisite: PHL 100. PHL 101 is also recommended. Offered Sem. I.


PHL        337                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Legal, Political and Social Philosophy

An examination of philosophical issues concerning legal, political, and social structures. A discussion of philosophical accounts of the nature and justification of law and the state, of the relation of morality and the law, of the relation of morality and the state, and of the nature of legal-political obligation and responsibility. Philosophical accounts of justice, liberty, rights, and obligation and the relation of these topics to contemporary legal, political and social problems will be covered. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered occasionally.


PHL        339                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Medical Ethics

Examination of the principal moral problems that arise in medical practice, including abortion, euthanasia, and human experimentation. Prerequisite: PHL 100. May only earn credit in PHL 339 or SOC 340. Offered J-term.


PHL        340                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Business and Professional Ethics

Ethical issues in the conduct of business and professions will be examined by focusing on case studies in business and professions that raise ethical issues. A variety of ethical theories will be used to illuminate the ethical features of business and professional decisions and their effects on employees and society. The goal is to improve ability to identify factors and considerations that can play a role in improving the ethical character of business and professions. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered occasionally.


PHL        341                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Environmental Ethics

Reflections on how humans relate to the natural environment, humans’ appropriate place in nature: The earth does not belong to humans, but humans belong to the earth. The course will concentrate on the historical roots of today’s ecological crisis and on the contemporary environmental issues — i.e., land use, natural resources, technology and the environment, nuclear power — attempting to understand their philosophical basis. Prerequisites: PHL 100.


PHL        349                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Asian Philosophy

Introduction to the main questions in the Asian philosophical traditions. Questions will be centered in ethics, religion, epistemology, and metaphysics. Conceptual connections will be make with European and North American philosophical traditions. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered every fourth semester.


PHL        350                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Philosophy of Creativity

An examination of a number of philosophical issues that arise in connection with creativity. Issues include: Can creativity be defined? What is the meaning of creativity as a fundamental philosophical category? What is the relation of creativity to self, society and God? Emphasis upon both Oriental and Western perspectives of philosophy of creativity. Prerequisite: PHL 100.


PHL/CST   400                                                                                                                                Cr. 3

Ethical and Legal Issues in Communication Studies

Examines ethical and legal aspects of personal and professional communication behavior in interpersonal, organizational, and public contexts. Considers such controversial topics as lying, confidentiality, and freedom of speech. Familiarizes students with ethical principles, laws, and regulations that apply to both personal and professional communication, whether it is conducted face to face or through telecommunication media. Assists students in applying their knowledge of ethical principles, laws, and regulations in making specific decisions about communication behavior. Prerequisites: CST 190 and PHL 100 and senior standing. (Cross-listed with CST; may only earn credit in PHL or CST.) Offered Sem. II, alternate years.


PHL        494                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Advanced Topics in Philosophy

Study of a philosophical topic of special interest. Topics will vary according to the interests of students and the instructor. For the current content, consult the instructor or the department chair. Prerequisites: nine credits in philosophy and consent of department chair. This course is open to juniors and seniors. No more than six credits in PHL 300, 494, 495, and 496 are applicable to a philosophy major or minor. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.


PHL        495                                                                                                                                     Cr. 1-3

Individual Study in Philosophy

Directed reading and research under the supervision of an instructor. Prerequisites: 12 hours in philosophy and consent of the philosophy department staff. No more than six credits in PHL 300, 494, and 495 combined are applicable to a philosophy major or minor. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Offered Sem. I.


PHL        496                                                                                                                                     Cr. 3

Integrative Seminar

Integration of programmatic themes and methods in the major. Prerequisites: 18 credits including PHL 100, 101, 205 and 206. May be taken for Honors credit. No more than six credits in PHL 300, 494, 495, and 496 are applicable to a major or minor.